Can Chelsea’s Eden Hazard become the best player in the world?

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was full of praise for Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard, calling him a better player than Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. He believes his midfielder can hit the heights of the most elite European talents if he continues his speedy development, so can Eden Hazard become a future best player in the world?

The 24-year-old won the Premier League and Capital One Cup with the Blues, and was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year. Hazard also won personal honours from the club, and enjoyed his most prolific tally in front of goal, scoring and assisting 23 goals in 38 league games. His manager initially struggled to get him playing for the side in regard to his defensive contribution, but has since talked up Hazard’s work rate for the cause.

There’s little doubt Chelsea would have missed out on the Premier League title without the antics of Hazard, which is why manager Jose Mourinho believes his talented goalscoring playmaker deserves to be held in a higher regard than Ronaldo. The former Lille man popped up with important goals at important times, scoring the winners against Manchester United and Crystal Palace in Chelsea’s title run-in.

“In spite of the fact that Ronaldo was fantastic, (Hazard) was fantastic. He scored an incredible number of goals. Last season (Hazard was better). He has all the conditions to improve. He’s getting stronger and stronger, not just in his body, but in his attitude. He’s mentally tough,” said the Blues boss.”

Last season, Eden Hazard was the standout star in the Premier League, making more than 180 successful dribbles, and having over 100 chances created. The Belgian was also the most fouled player in the division in 2014/15, and has continued to improve ever since his debut campaign. His fine form has seen him linked with stellar suitors, but appears keen to stay at Stamford Bridge.

However, Mourinho won’t allow his players to rest on their laurels. The Portuguese boss has already said this summer that he expects better from every member of personnel, and won’t allow complacency to creep into the ranks for their title defence. It’s such determination to be the best that connects with Hazard, shown by his continual progression over the last few years, and he will want to stake his claim among the world’s greatest. The 24-year-old midfielder believes he’s just behind the likes of Lionel Messi (Barcelona) and Ronaldo (Real Madrid), so how far can he go this season?

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